Friday, May 29, 2009

spf and powder products

I was wondering how effective powder SPF products are, so did some searches.

According to this link, you'd have to use a lot of powder to get the stated SPF!
When scientists test facial powders to determine SPF (as mandated by the FDA), they typically assume that 2mg of product will be used per cm2 of skin. The average face is about 600cm2 (although that varies from person to person, of course), meaning that a person needs to apply about 1.2g of facial powder to get the SPF stated on the product's label
It's funny how unclear the details of SPF are.
The above two articles have interesting similarities...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Japanese post: new vocab


如才ない じょさいない (adj-i) tactful; shrewd; adroit


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

ibuprofen in Japan

If you're looking for Ibuprofen in Japan, you can find it sold as "Eve." There are probably other brands under which it is marketed, but that's the first one I've found.

materialism: maquillage colored mascara and eyeliner duos

Maquillage's summer collection includes a pretty series of colored waterproof mascara and eyeliner duos called Full Vision Gloss Coat Mascara (2100yen).

The eyeliner was quite easy to use and the mascara was pretty nice, so I am quite tempted to buy it. Waterproof too, so if it doesn't smudge, it'll be perfect for the summer (and year round).

Friday, May 15, 2009


Cheney has been pretty vocal lately:
On Sunday, he said he would pick Rush Limbaugh over former secretary of state Colin L. Powell as a model for the Republican Party and virtually wrote his onetime colleague out of the GOP.
- As Cheney Seizes Spotlight, Many Republicans Wince


That says so many things.

1) Cheney's crazy.
- and he is completely incapable of evaluating Powell and Limbaugh's skills as politicians.

2) He has no idea what regular Republicans want to hear (I hope!).
- nor does he know what the general population wants to hear.

3) He's so right-wing. No surprise there.

forgot to say:
4) He's pretty cold. I think Powell got pretty burned by the Bush Administration to begin with, and Cheney's just stepping in open wounds.

An amusing addendum:

Jesse Ventura's say:

"You look at Dick Cheney who ran and hid [from the Vietnam war draft]," Ventura said. "I have no respect for Dick Cheney. I have tremendous respect for General Powell."

Waterboarding, Ventura said, "is torture... It's drowning... I'll put it to you this way, you give me a water board, Dick Cheney and one hour, and I'll have him confess to the Sharon Tate murders".

Thursday, May 14, 2009

the true difference between the British and the Americans

"We get a lot of inquiries from Americans who are interested in selling the bras," Tsuchiya reported. "But the British are different — they tend to be shocked by what we're doing."
- Japan Times, "Office workers out in front in demand for men's bras"

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Monday, May 11, 2009

food for thought

The Washington Post has a very interesting article on a friendship between a moderate-liberal judge and the conservative Justice Clarence Thomas.

new year's resolution, step one

I've been whining about not being able to cook for years now. This is quite sad. So I've resolved to make bento lunch boxes at least twice each week. So I'm taking steps towards fulfilling one of my perennial new years' resolutions.


Also, a friend inspired me with his easy and scrumptious home-made Japanese curry. It looked like a lot of fun.


I tried to make 4 things on Saturday. One dish turned out quite well, one wasn't bad, and the other 2 were edible but not exactly good. It was my second time making 3 of the dishes, but I followed slightly different recipes.

A good experience for me, but it took 3 hours, all in all! I need a tool for shredding stuff. And how do you slice carrots diagonally?


The scorecard:
stir-fried asparagus and carrot

stir-fried shredded potatoes

teriyaki chicken (Yee Kum Kee sauce recipe)
cabbage and egg stir-fry

On asparagus and carrots:
I loosely followed this recipe for the asparagus and carrot stir fry:

Ever since my roommate made the dish years ago, I've wanted to replicate it for myself, as I've never seen it in Chinese restaurants.

I ignored the water chesnuts (didn't have any, and my roommate didn't use any) and cilantro (yuck), and didn't have nearly as much asparagus as needed, and instead of julienne cut I sliced the carrots thinly in diagonals (but they turned out as ovals). Despite all of these ad hoc modifications, the dish turned out quite tasty. I will try making it again this week for bento lunch to bring to work.

I really need to find my totoro lunch box; it's very annoying to have bought it (against my better judgement) and to not be able to find it. It's probably in that wall of boxes that refuses to unpack itself in the corner of my room.

On shredded potatoes:
I love this dish where the potatoes are washed free of starch so that they are crunchy, and lightly seasoned with salt and spicy green peppers (and probably some msg). However, I haven't quite found the right recipe. A lot of recipes add carrots and green onions, and while those are probably quite tasty, they are not the dish I am trying to re-create. Actually, I tried green onions and didn't think it added anything to the dish. I've managed to get the texture of the potatoes satisfactorily, but the taste still doesn't match my memory. I will try again! It takes way too long to julienne the potatoes though... must find tool.

On teriyaki chicken:
I followed the recipe on the back of the sauce packet, but in my opinion boiling chicken in sauce is very difficult to do without overcooking the chicken. I just don't know how to do it. The sauce itself isn't bad.

On shredded cabbage and egg:
I found a recipe that uses onion and cabbage, but in my opinion the onion just doesn't go very well with the cabbage. I'm going to try again with just cabbage. I also need to learn to make an egg pancake without over cooking the egg...

Cooking is fun, because I make whatever I want, but it's hard to actually replicate what it is I'm trying to make! I'm eating more veggies this way though.

Friday, May 08, 2009

guess what?

my love of potato chips continues unabated...

stir-fried shredded potato

I started cooking a bit again. I'm currently trying to replicate this shredded potato dish that I am very fond of. I've figured out the texture element (soaking the potatoes in water gets rid of the starch, leaving it nicely crunchy), but the flavor element was lacking in my latest attempt.

There are quite a few recipes that call for vinegar, but the dish I am trying to replicate was probably only flavored with green chili peppers and salt (and msg?).

Thursday, May 07, 2009

slumdog millionaire

I quite enjoyed the movie, but I doubt it was the best movie of the year. What did you think?